Hard Water and Mineral Build Up
Most tap water, both well and city water, contain minerals such as calcium, magnesium, potassium, copper, and iron. Water with high levels of these minerals is often refereed to as “hard” water. If your water is hard it can build up in your hair. This can leave hair feeling dry, weighted down, and brittle. When henna or Cassia are used on hair with mineral build up the result noticeable. The minerals act like mordants when combined with the dyes and create colors that are unexpected and usually unflattering. We’ve had reports of cassia going dull brown or even near black on hair with a lot of mineral build up! If you find that your hair comes out too dark, dull, or with a greenish cast chances are good that the problem is mineral build up.
You may have hard water if:
- You have well water.
- Dishes have chalky build up.
- Sinks or toilets have rust stains.
- Taps and dishwashers have rocky build up.
- Soap/shampoo lathers less than you’d expect.
- You have significant lime scale in the hot water heater.
- Your hair is dry or brittle.
If you suspect you have hard water it would be a good idea to use a mineral build up remover such as Rainwash. This will both improve the general health of your hair and prevent unexpected results with natural dyes. Rainwash is a powder that is mixed with water and becomes a gel. The gel is applied to hair and left in 40 minutes for removal of heavy build up, or 10-15 minutes for regular maintenance of mineral free hair. This process can give an odd smell as the minerals are broken down. Not to worry! This is completely normal. Once the mineral build up is removed, it can be prevented with regular use of Rainwash, or by using filters or softeners in your home.
If you’re reading this because you ALREADY had unexpected results with plant dyes, don’t worry! Using rainwash after the fact will still remove the mineral build up and fix the color of your hair!